25 Jun 2015

Unruly - Basketball Night in Canada Chapter 6 - Commentary

The Unrulies went deep into that classic teen hangout, the mall.  Welcome to the commentary for "Mall Trawl".  Please read the chapter first before continuing.

For once, I have a real location.  Oshawa Centre is a real place, with real stores and a real website.  Why use a real mall instead of creating my own?  First, the real mall already exists, with stores and a map, saving me time.  Second, malls are huge; I didn't want to just drop a mall on some residential area and squish the people who live there.  Third, malls are landmarks; just as I wouldn't create a stand-in for the CN Tower in Toronto, I wouldn't create a mall when readers may want to find it*.

Caitlin's odd reference come from the Farley Mowat novel, Never Cry Wolf.  Mowat described how caibou could recognize the different postures of wolves, whether the wolf is just passing through or is on the hunt.  The girls of the Gephardt Academy have learned something similar.  A friendly stance allows them to not spook crowds too much, which is handy when they need to get groceries or school supplies.  Doesn't mean the people around them aren't nervous, doubly so when a group from St. Dymphna is around.  Laura, being new, hasn't picked up on all of the subtle bits of being one of the Unrulies.  She's getting on-the-job training.

Dylan has the honour of the first male character of the Unrulies' age to appear and be named.  It's only taken nineteen chapters, counting all of The New Girl and The Great Jennifer Round-Up, to get to this point.  Autumn's crush Jay still hasn't made an appearance, though he has been mentioned.  Basketball Night in Canada is the first Unruly episode to go beyond the school to the point of interacting with the environs.  There's also a bit that's similar to what Greg Taylor mentions in one of his commentaries.  My main characters tend to be female, and with a series set at an all-girls school, there are few roles for males.  Dylan's role is to let Skye show off a bit.

The altercation was already part of Caitlin's plan.  She didn't know if there would be one, but she had contingencies in case there was.  None of the Unrulies escalated the situation.  Caitlin doesn't really have a lawyer, but the Academy does.  The Academy believes in keeping tabs on what former students are doing, and has a number of lawyers amongst its alumni.  Dylan's lawyer would have to be expensive and good to match.

Skye's baseball reference could use a bit more unpacking.  In the sport, there are two types of runs scored, earned and unearned.  Earned runs are the usual means of scoring; a runner crosses home plate without being tagged out.  This can happen through regular play, advancing on a hit or a sacrifice.  Unearned runs occur when the defense, the team in the field, makes an error, as declared by the official scorer.  A wild pitch, a throw that goes over the catcher's head, or even the third baseman's, a fumble by an outfielder, all of those that let a runner score are errors, meaning the run is unearned.  An unearned run still counts, though.

Going to close with a question.  Would it be helpful to have a cast page, with the names of the girls who have appeared?

Tomorrow, the new Unruly episode, Chapter 7, "Bishop to Queen's Level Two".
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, the history of adaptations continues with the 60s.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, Frankenstein Unbound.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

* Same reasoning leads to schools that don't exist.  Malls are open to the public.  Schools aren't.


  1. Mall reasoning makes sense, though give yourself some credit for looking up the map rather than assuming generic stores, or basing it on somewhere else. Honestly though, Laura can't use "new" as an excuse much more - she's seen the reactions to the uniform, at "Grounds" and the Simcoe school, and while I grant she might not have thought of security guards... she's a step away from whining. ("Caitlin! When you said we'd be swimming, you didn't say the water would be WET!") I'm with Skye, she either needs to "suck it up, buttercup", or else we need to get more information about her police history so that it's clear why she's so freaked out. (It can't be THAT bad surely, or she'd have told Mackenzie that being around her is liable to get her shot, right?)

    So Dylan's with Jennie, huh? (I watched too much 90210, I'm now picturing Dylan McKay with Jennie Garth - even though one's a role, the other's an actress.) Someone had to be the first guy, though I laughed at Skye's "Yeah, that wasn't an option." We may not see much more of him! Thanks for the shout-out, by the way. (At least you have the excuse of an all girls school, I'm not sure what my excuse is!)

    1. I never named any of the stores, though I did see verify the mall's map and stores to get an idea of what the Unrulies would be passing. Laura has another reason for her reaction, which appears in Chapter 8. Skye gets to be the blunt one of the group; Caitlin would find a long-winded way to say the same thing.

      I never saw 90210 but I was wondering why the names went together. Dylan was handy to have, though I have no idea if he'll reappear. Who knows? He might liked being roughed up. (You have Carrie, Julie, and Luci, who are forces of nature running over everyone else.)

  2. As to a cast page, probably a good idea; I'd include a bit more detail on the main characters (I see Laura, Caitlin, Skye, Autumn, Mackenzie, Vamsi there) like brief description, and maybe on secondaries (Cassie, Flora, Verity) at least roommates - then perhaps names of tertiaries (Danielle, Jenn, Stone, et al). Maybe if you sort them by how many entries they appear in? But then, I like cast pages.

    1. I've started working on one. I then realized just how many characters have appeared. I may have to figure out a new order to things...